Wednesday, August 2, 2017

July - drowning under a pile of courgettes

Eddie basking in the evening sun
Hengistbury Head
Summer colour
Making courgette ratatouille for the freezer

In July -

- I learnt that 5 home grown courgette plants are too many.

- Customers were getting a free courgette with every hour of weeding!

- I blanched runner beans and french beans every evening.  This is what my social life has turned into.

- I found a radio station that plays 80's tunes that I can dance to (surreptitiously) whilst weeding customer's gardens.

- I joined Salisbury Museum. 

- We sang Brahms' Requiem - twice, once in Shaftesbury, once in Salisbury.  Major ear worm ever since.

- Part of a tooth fell out (again).  I am amazed that I haven't got mercury poisoning.  I am slowly falling apart. 

- We have heard lots of strange screeches and snuffling noises in the garden at night.

- I saw a red kite whilst working in the village and we had rather odd looking hummingbird hawk moths in the garden.

- I have become a bit of a twitcher.  This month has seen a profusion of greenfinches, swifts and starlings.

I thoroughly enjoyed lunch on my own one Saturday at the Arts Centre (Tuna sandwich washed down with posh lemonade) followed by an exhibition at the museum 'British Art: Ancient Landscapes' and the subsequent talk by artist Anna Dillon 'The Draw of the Ancient Landscape'.  They made me want to rush out in to the countryside straight away and sit on top of a hill with some paints, an itchy blanket and a flask of Earl Grey tea.  I didn't.

The view from Salisbury Museum

Sculpture outside Salisbury Museum - 'Head' by Julian Sainsbury 1996

Eddie has barked at the cows

and enjoyed late evening walks in the village.

Hard to believe that the month started off so hot and humid.

Lovely boy.

Back home to cool off.

We have had some lovely skies

and sunsets.  I just wish that we had more than a couple of weeks of this weather.

Still, if it rains you can always make beer!

Another Saturday I had tea and shortbread at the Antelope Cafe at the top of the antiques market,

Image result for antelope cafe salisbury

The Antelope Cafe -

followed by a leisurely waft around Mompessan House in the Close.

I hadn't been in years.

Dahlias in the garden.


I've never seen an artichoke thistle before!

Unfortunately, the weather was not kind the day we visited Horatio's Garden charity open afternoon at the Spinal Unit, Salisbury Hospital.

It was a flying visit before the heavens opened and we got soaked!

I loved it though - gorgeous soft colours in the planting

with the odd splash of colour

and sculptures in amongst the grasses

and verbena.

Last Sunday we decided to be brave and take Eddie back to Hengistbury Head.  The last time he went there wasn't long after we got him from the Dogs Trust and he was rather over excited.  He managed to leap out of the boot before we could get the lead on his collar and made a mad dash across the car park. We caught up with him but then discovered why he had probably spent his whole life in dogs homes as he proceeded to try and hump every dog on the beach!  Agh!

I love this place, so wild and windswept and only 45 minutes from home.

You don't have to walk far to get away from the crowds as most people stay near the car park.

Eddie stayed firmly on the lead!

Eddie back in the village waiting to play football - his favourite.

Gladioli season in the back garden

The gazanias just keep on going


We tried a new walk at Marleycombe Hill.  It was covered in wild flowers, butterflies and little birds - note to self, must get better at bird watching.  I think they were linnets).  Looking at the map later on, I found out that the area was once the scene of a battle between the Romans and Britons.  Quite interesting.....  I also noticed a place called Kit's Grave marked very close by.  More interesting..... It is supposedly the final resting place of a woman who committed suicide by jumping down a well.  I must go back soon and search for it!

New walk - Marleycombe Hill, Bowerchalke

Gorgeous Dahlias

Eddie up the drove on the last evening of July

The sun came out but alas, the heat has gone.  But has it gone for good?

Scentless Mayweed or Corn Feverfew

Earlier on in the month we walked down by the mill (all our dogs' favourite) but the grass is so long that Eddie has to be checked for tics on our return home.  And he had one.

The landscape is definitely taking on an autumnal hue and the combines are out every night.  I wonder what August will bring.

'Few people in this overcrowded country have not some favourite heath or common or moor to which they retire when they need solitude, or unpolluted fresh air, the glimpse of wild life, or the sound of water falling over stones.'
- W. G. Hoskins (from 'This Birding Life' by Stephen Moss)

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